Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "No pray zone?," July 13, 2013

Parking bill 

Half a million dollars does not buy much Boston real estate these days, but it can fetch two prime parking spots. At a June 13 tax sale, the IRS auctioned a pair of parking spaces for $560,000 in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. The two spots may not look like much: pinned in by a brick wall, telephone pole, and a line of weeds. But the spaces behind Commonwealth Avenue happen to be in the most parking-scarce part of the city. The winner, Lisa Blumenthal, owns a nearby home with three parking spaces already.

Fashionably uncool

Behind the so-called Bamboo Curtain, the nouveau riche of North Korea are finding new things to purchase. But the question is not so much “what?” as it is “why?” According to a June 16 report in the Korea Times, newly wealthy North Korean families are now purchasing refrigerators to showcase their wealth. One out of every 15 to 20 families in North Korea has a refrigerator. But a lack of reliable power in most parts of the country means that the family fridge is often little more than a status symbol of success in the nation’s burgeoning black market economy or with the government’s bureaucracy. Some families have resorted to using their powerless fridges as bookshelves.

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